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Tiramisú ...inspired by No Reservations for Food 'n Flix

In the film No Reservations, Kate is an uptight, work-obsessed control freak.  She is a first-class chef who takes pride in her work and does not subscribe to the popular belief that the customer is always right.  Her whole world is turned upside down when her sister is killed in a car accident on her way to visit her.  She gains custody of her young niece, Zoe, who is now left without the only parent she has ever known.  While they struggle to get to know each other better (a whole new world for both of them), Nick enters the picture.  Nick is brought on as the new executive sous chef when Kate is forced to take some time off and her sous chef leaves to have a baby.  Nick is completely the opposite of Kate.  Outgoing, fun, friendly, patient, and easy-going.  And very easy on the eyes.  Is it any wonder that this odd-group fits together so nicely?  When Zoe cashes in on a wish that Kate promises to grant her, Nick winds up in Kate's kitchen cooking dinner with Zoe...which they then share in a magical, candle-lit, tent-covered dinner.  They make homemade pizza (a complete 180° from Kate's "upscale" menus) and eat on the floor without utensils or shoes and we can see a change starting to take place in all of them.  This is one of my favorite scenes from the film.  It ends with Nick carrying a sleeping Zoe to her bed and spending some quiet time with Kate.  He pulls a box that he brought with him from the fridge to share with her.  As they begin to eat in the seduction of fire light...

"You know, in Italian, Tiramisu means The Food of Gods."  (Nick)
"No it doesn't."  (Kate)
"It should."  (Nick)
Tiramisú
adapted from Martha Stewart's Dinner at Home
serves ~4

¾ c. boiling water
3 Tbs. instant espresso powder
⅔ c. mascarpone cheese
⅔ c. heavy cream
3 Tbs. rum
½ tsp. vanilla extract
⅓ c. sugar
12 (~6 oz) ladyfingers (savoiardi)
1-2 oz. chunk/bar bittersweet chocolate
Combine boiling water and espresso powder.  Set in fridge to cool.

Whip the mascarpone, cream, rum, vanilla, and sugar together at medium speed until soft peaks form.
Dip ladyfingers into the cooled espresso mixture quickly and then lay in a single layer in a loaf pan (~8"x5").  Spoon half of the mascarpone mixture on top and smooth it down.  Grate half of the chocolate over that.  Repeat with another layer of espresso dipped ladyfingers.  Smooth on the last of the mascarpone mixture.  Grate the last of the chocolate over that.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, at least an hour but up to overnight.

This is rich and not too sweet...and a total adult's dessert.  Just ask my daughter.  She took one bite, then promptly turned to me to ask if I could make a kid's dessert next time.  I suppose.  
Deb at Kahakai Kitchen is hosting Food 'n Flix this month with her chosen film: No Reservations.
Food‘nFlix
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